Fender Musical Instruments has teamed up with legendary rockers Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore to release their own signature model Jazzmaster electric guitars. Both guitarists are long time fans of the iconic Jazzmaster, using its unique sound to help create their highly identifiable brand of noise rock for over two decades. Sonic Youth is infamous for their propensity for experimentation. Their new signature axes bear the same marks of simplicity, with satin nitrocellulose lacquer finishes, a single volume knob and three-way switch.
Both guitars are fairly similar, sharing the same scale lengths, body and neck materials and tuning machines. Differences lie in the pickup configurations. Moore’s guitar sticks with the traditional Jazzmaster pickup set, sporting two Seymour Duncan Antiquity II pickups, while Ranaldo has chosen to feature his with Wide Range Fender Humbuckers. These pickups are recognizable from early 70’s Fender Telecaster models, and were originally designed by Seth Lover, inventor of the original humbucking pickup. These have been revoiced to sound and respond like the original models. The bridges also differ, with the Ranaldo model using a Mustang bridge, and the Moore model an Adjusto-Matic.
Each Sonic Youth Jazzmaster includes a custom sticker sheet and a 24-page book (designed by Ranaldo) with illustrations, gear information, interviews, set lists, tuning charts and photos. The book also features Sonic Youth’s four guitar techs since 1990 explaining the changes that have taken place with their instruments over the past two decades.
Both the Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore Signature Fender Jazzmasters will be available July 1st, 2009.